Phoneography and Non-SLR Digital Devices Photo Challenge: Nature (and the Egg)

02 March 2015


1. Yolk of Brown Egg; Copyright © 2015 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved/Lens and Pens by Sally

1. Brown Egg; Copyright © 2015 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved/Lens and Pens by Sally

2. Yolk of Brown Egg; Copyright © 2015 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved/Lens and Pens by Sally

2. Brown Egg; Copyright © 2015 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved/Lens and Pens by Sally

3. Reflections in Yolk of Brown Egg; Copyright © 2015 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved/Lens and Pens by Sally

3. Reflections in White of a Brown Egg; Copyright © 2015 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved/Lens and Pens by Sally

Let me know which you prefer and why. Click on each photograph to enlarge.


Winter continues to drive the daily dialogue and monologue. But the finale of this season’s wrath is set to wane in a matter of weeks. I breathe a huge sigh of relief and more and more enthusiasm for the work ahead in my gardens. True that energy does not dissipate, it just must be coveted inwardly, only to be let loose in the pre-dawn of Springtime.

More than memory’s stronghold, I cannot recall a recent winter that had so many fixated on the weather. It’s invasive and restrictive mechanisms (to hold us captive emotionally and physically) have been too pervasive.

Still this very intrusion gives pause for other kinds of introspection: the lore of hibernation and survival as well as thoughts of renewal and rejuvenation. These ideas lead to the mind’s play with the circadian rhythm (nature and human nature’s response to light and dark) and the life cycle, beginning with the egg.

As I began to make an omelet this week, one of the eggs came from the carton with a small teardrop gently appearing on top. I paused.

Then I set up a photo shoot, slowly cracking its shell to reveal more and more of the egg white or albumen. As the light was caught in its path, it reflected the tree that hovers outside my kitchen glass doors. It mesmerized my attention. The symbolism was palpable.

The egg became the voice for my dreams of seasonal change. My romantic bent was surfacing, but I didn’t care. It seemed an apt sign of what spurs the human spirit: all that Spring incites, all that Spring promises.

Then I sipped my morning tea, and there they were. Small songbirds seemingly ready for new life. As if forecasting what is to come, they were in a ritual dance chasing and darting in a small group of three. It was a glorious signpost–a signpost that my birdhouses will be filled with hope: tiny eggs of nature’s bounty.

Tip of the Week:

Since I tend to be a purist, I like being exposed to artists who push boundaries farther than I ever will. Jerry Uelsmann (born 1934) is an accomplished photographer who specializes in photomontage. He has spent his career mastering darkroom techniques. His mission circles around the magic of photography through alchemy. His work is very Man Ray-like. Long before digital tools were the rave, Uelsmann was creating photographic assemblages that combine frozen moments of reality with dream-like components. He uses multiple enlargers to make a single image that grabs the viewer to discern just what he has made. As more and more digital image-makers bring numerous apps to their work, Uelsmann’s work is important to study. He continues to use the chemical darkroom in the age of the digital one. But his influence is well-known, even in the technological age of continual change. View his work here.

Journey into Night (Hands with Nest), Jerry Uelsmann, 2006

Journey into Night (Hands with Nest), Jerry Uelsmann, 2006

 “ The camera is essentially a license to EXPLORE.” ~~ Jerry Uelsmann

View other entries for this week’s challenge:


As always I welcome comments about this post or any part of my blog.

If you’d like to join the Photo Challenge, please click here for details. If you have any questions, please contact me. Below is a reminder of the monthly schedule with themes for upcoming Photo Challenges:

1st Monday: Nature.

2nd Monday: Macro.

3rd Monday: Black and White.

4th Monday Challenger’s Choice (Pick One: Abstraction, Animals, Architecture, Food Photography, Night Photography, Objects, Portraiture, Still Life, Street Photography, and Travel).

5th Monday: Editing and Processing with Various Apps Using Themes from the Fourth Week.


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54 Responses to Phoneography and Non-SLR Digital Devices Photo Challenge: Nature (and the Egg)

  1. This is a wonderful series Sally-I was especially drawn to the top image-there is something about the color and light that seems to generate warmth? promise? loss? Whatever, it is something beyond a mere brown egg-

  2. This time a series of fun photos. I really love the second one, mostly because of the drops captured in action and the bit of green light captured on the table.

  3. I would never thought of photographing an egg Sally, great macro work here, and of course nature. 🙂 Here is my entry this week:

  4. basiga says:

    Love how you captured the reflection in the egg white. Such fine detailed work. My entry was an easier shot. It was a clear blue sky day which made this shot of the apple trees and honeysuckle vibrate with color. Hope you enjoy it.

  5. restlessjo says:

    Incredible, Sally! I love where your thought processes lead. I liked the warm tones of no. 2 until I realised you had that reflection in no. 3. Amazing 🙂 I wish you lots of warmth from here on in.

    • That’s lovely. Today we are in the midst of a huge snowstorm. It continues to descend with its pristine beauty. This one will keep everyone (except the bold) inside for at least a day. Spring is edging closer. I cannot wait, but I must say that this kind of day brings other sorts of joy. See you soon. Thanks so much.

  6. Suzanne says:

    These are great Sally – I like them all, particularly the weird effects in the last one. Here’s my contribution

  7. Eggceptional work here Sally. Great shots! The last is wonderful reflection.

  8. pattimoed says:

    I love your shots of the egg–especially against the black background. My favorite is the 3rd one–because of the layers–both the image and the reflection. And thanks too for Jerry Uelsmann’s work. Inspiring! And very Man-Ray-like. Have a good week!–Patti

  9. Jane Lurie says:

    Love the simplicity of an egg. Terrific shots, Sally. I admire Jerry Uelsmann’s innovative work. I hope that digital photographers who do montages give him the nod he deserves.

  10. It is hard to go past the final photograph. The reflection of the tree is stunning! The shades, in the egg white on the black surface, are like folds of velvet. Overall, what a fantastic capture. You mentioned the ice in the comment above, so I am sending you a little Spring magic in my contribution, found here:

  11. Wow, your creativity is wonderful, Sally. This week #1 is my favorite as the little cracks hint at something big on the way.

  12. Maria F. says:

    Sequences are hard to break, I guess, and this is one of those; although #1 is very solemn by itself; it can truly stand alone as it’s simple and straightforward.

  13. They’re all great shots, Sally. I’m having a hard time choosing between the simplicity of the first one and the surprise element of the tree’s reflection in the egg white. Amazing. How do you think of these things?! 😀

  14. Luanne says:

    As usual, I love them all! And for different reasons. Although the first one is very unusual, I think.

  15. Tish Farrell says:

    I like the simplicity of the first egg, and as Janet Sunderland says above, as a child I cleaned a lot of them, which I’ve only just remembered (I lived next door to a farm). The third one made me think of Solaris, something in sci-fi mode – worlds within worlds, seeing the mysterious in the ordinary and every day. Good eggs all round, Sally. 😀

  16. That final image is so much fun. The eggwhite gives an amazing reflection.

  17. Angeline M says:

    Wonderful perspective on nature. I especially like the details the light and color brought out in the second photo. I just really love the colors!
    I’m again sharing a little of what goes on here in the outdoors.
    Have a great week.

  18. As a farmer’s daughter who cleaned waaaaaay too many eggs, I really like the clarity and simplicity of the first shot. We so seldom take the time to really look and this makes me look and remember. Eggs? We crack and whip. But in this photo, time is present in the clear drop not quite dropping.

    As an art photo, I also like the third one. I had to enlarge it to see the tree and when I saw the tree’s reflection in the light, it seemed delicate and ephemeral. Sort of like seasons. They never last, are passing moments in our lives, hard to hold and keep. Sort of like an egg white. Can’t pick it up either.

  19. Nato says:

    Wonderful shots! The tree reflection shot is my favorite. So creative and telling. And such mental reflection on how this moment revealed more than just making breakfast. I love the awareness and meaning you find in simple moments. It’s beautiful, as always.

  20. These are very cool shots Sally. Sorry can’t pick a favorite 🙂 Love them all.

  21. Allan G. Smorra says:

    Nice photos this week, Sally. I like the reflections and abstract nature of the third image. Thanks also for the nudge about Jerry Uelsmann. I used to marvel at his work in the early, pre-PhotoShop ’80s in Modern Photography magazine. I was reminded of his work when I first saw examples of mobile art and what people were doing with apps such as iColorama. It is amazing to be around and witness the sea-change in photography, as it happens.

    Throw another log on the fire, Spring is around the corner.

  22. Good day, Sally!
    These are fantastic captures. The sharpness of the image is unbelievable, only surpassed by your creativity in composing them. I like all of them, as they express different moments of your experience when framing the photos. The reflection is the number one choice.
    Thanks. Also for sharing Jerry Uelsmann’s work.

  23. LavendarLadi says:

    I love how you saw an “ordinary” moment in a different light. Capturing beautiful photos often is a fair bit of luck mixed with a lot of the blessing to see the world in a slightly different angel. I prefer the third photo this week. I can almost see the movement of the egg ‘white’.

  24. suej says:

    Love that image of the reflected tree in the albumen…. and I liked your words, where you comment about the symbolism of this image 🙂

  25. Sally, as I’m often running for my phone while cooking or doing something in the kitchen, I really enjoyed these photos. There’s something about brown eggs that seems so warm and delicious, even if a white egg is from free-range chickens, etc., etc. My favorite is the last one with it’s close-in look and the reflections you caught.

    Have an egg-cellent week and keep looking for spring while enjoying the beauty of winter.


    • Janet, our landscape is covered in ice from a huge storm yesterday. It’s too dangerous to escape the confines of the home. But I tried. Now the sun is melting what it can reach, and the sounds are melodious. Thanks for your thoughtful comment. Think Spring and all that transpires.

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